Freddie Mercury Google Doodle
September 5th 2011 saw the Google homepage taken over by a Freddie Mercury Google Doodle paying tribute to one of the most iconic pop stars of the twentieth century. The Freddie Mercury Google Doodle, which appeared globally, celebrated what would have been the 65th birthday of the pop icon. Occasionally the Google doodle team invite guest bloggers to write about the person or subject to which the doodle is dedicated. In this instance for the Freddie Mercury Google Doodle, former Queen bandmate Dr. Brian May was invited to write a blog about his memories of Freddie. The blog and Freddie Mercury Google Doodle can still be viewed by clicking here.
The Freddie Mercury Google Doodle, featured a collage of cartoon images of Freddie with the Google logo interwoven in shades of purple and orange. When users pressed the play button on the Freddie Mercury Google Doodle, which was a golden crown, comprising the second “O” of the logo, they were taken on a psychedelic journey to the sound of the timeless epic, “Don’t Stop Me Now”. The video began with a cartoon depiction of Queen playing a concert in a packed arena, with the Google logo flashing in the background and featured a close up of swooning female fans. Freddie is then beamed into space through a rainbow, where he rides on the back of tiger which transforms into a speeding car in time with the lyrics. After travelling down a road, the car takes off into space, transforming into a space ship. He is then attacked by three flying saucers which are vaporised by rays emitted from Freddie’s ship in the shape of the letters of the search engine‘s logo.
Following his space adventure, Freddie dressed in iconic regal attire descends onto a throne. The throne is set on a plinth which features dancing lions, bears, peacocks, a tiger and even a shark. To the line “just give me a call”, a woman is shown using a vacuum cleaner whilst speaking on the phone. The Freddie Mercury Google Doodle then depicts a series of still images where Freddie is striking a number of dramatic poses. Following this, Freddie is depicted riding a bicycle through a surreal countryside, before falling down a hole in order to return to the concert stage where the Freddie Mercury Google Doodle began. Typically Google include their logo in their interactive video doodles, the Freddie Mercury Google Doodle featured the Google logo in three separate instances.
Freddie Mercury was named Farrokh Bulsara at birth. He was born in the British Protectorate of Zanzibar, modern day Tanzania. His parents, Bomi and Jer Bulsara, were originally from the Indian Provence of Bombay. They moved from India so that Freddie’s father could work as a cashier for the British Colonial Office. Much of Freddie’s childhood was spent in India and he began to play the piano at the age of seven.
Freddie was sent to St. Peter’s School, where at the age of twelve he formed his first band, “The Hectics”, who covered a number of rock and roll artists, including Cliff Richard. Even at this young age, Freddie’s talent was noticeable. A friend from the time recalled the young Mercury’s ability to listen to a song on the radio and then play it on the piano. Whilst at St. Peter’s he also began to use the name Freddie.
Freddie moved to England with his family at the age of seventeen. They left Zanzibar due to fears for their personal safety in the wake of the 1964 Zanzibar Revolution. During the revolution thousands of Arabs were killed. Freddie continued his education in England, studying at Isleworth Polytechnic, in West London. Whilst here he studied art, he also studied at Ealing Art College where he graduated with a Diploma in Art and Graphic Design. He would later use his artistic skills to design and create the now iconic Queen crest.
After obtaining his Diploma, Freddie worked selling second hand clothes in Kensington Market with his then girlfriend, Mary Austen. During this period of his life he joined a number of bands and also worked for a stint at Heathrow Airport. He moved to Liverpool in 1969 to join the band “Ibex”, which later became “Wreckage”. The band was unsuccessful and disbanded, following this he joined “Sour Milk Sea”, which was also unsuccessful and had disbanded by 1970.
In April 1970, Freddie joined the band “Smile” with guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor. Freddie chose to change the band’s name to Queen, initially other band members and their record label held reservations over the name change. It was at this time that Freddie changed his surname from Bulsara to Mercury.
Queen went on to become one of the most iconic and most successful rock and roll bands of the twentieth century. Freddie wrote no less than ten songs from the groups “Greatest Hits” album. These include “We Are the Champions”, “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Killer Queen”, “Bicycle Race” and “Don’t Stop Me Now”. For his songs, Freddie made use of a wide range of styles including disco, gospel, progressive rock and heavy metal. He gained recognition for the technical difficulty of the songs he wrote. Despite his song writing ability Freddie claimed he was barely able to read music.
Freddie’s undeniable song writing ability was twinned with his performance skills, which were highly theatrical. Kurt Cobain commented on Freddie’s showmanship in his suicide note, saying how he both admired and envied Freddie’s ability to gain both love and adoration from his audience. Queen were the first English band to play to a South American Stadium. The gig was held in Sao Paulo in 1981, at the Morumbi Stadium and broke global concert attendance records. Queen also played behind the Iron Curtain in 1986 at Budapest.
Freddie Mercury died at the age of 45 on November 24th 1991. The official cause of his death was bronchial pneumonia which resulted due to AIDs. Freddie had been diagnosed with AIDs in 1987. The funeral service was held on November 27th and held by Zoroastrian priest. 35 people were present at the service, including a number of his fellow Queen band members and the musician Elton John. Freddie was cremated at Kensal Green Cemetery in West London. Mary Austen took the dead pop icon’s ashes and buried them an undisclosed location, which remains a mystery to this day, in accordance with his wishes.